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Everything posted by teeeej

  1. My dad has been on the "expensive" lines, Seabourn, Regent etc, but when we cruised Carnival last fall, he mentioned he was surprised by how good the quality of food was in the dining room, though he was disappointed by the steakhouse that cost extra.
  2. My dad doesn't utilize the casino, so he got targeted with "almost free" for some other reason. When we were on the Panorama last fall, the casino was extremely smokey the entire time that it was open, he didn't even bother to use his $5 of free play or whatever his tier gave him for free.
  3. is it any cheaper to buy them as segments?
  4. Out of curiosity, what cruise line? I thought maybe people would get targeted based on how much they spend when on a cruise. My dad gets "almost free" offers on Carnival, but I don't. I don't know if it's because he is older, has higher status with them, tends to spend more onboard, or none of the above. 😄
  5. I tried to email the email address in your signature, but it says "The email account that you tried to reach is inactive." The reasons why you use travel agents are the same reasons that I would want to, but I was curious how did you identified the "right" ones for you? Do you use the same one for every cruise line? Did you find that different ones have better offers for different cruise lines? Maybe you just "shop" it around each time that you book a cruise?
  6. Any basic tips on how to do the research to identify who these people are?
  7. What is the benefit of doing it this way?
  8. How does the "Best Price Guarantee" work on shore excursions with the $200 Shore Ex credit? HAL applies the coupon to the highest value tour. So, for example, it's obvious when HAL is just marking up a "Cabo Adventures" tour or "Vallarta Adventures" tour. If I supply the Cabo Adventures price on the best price guarantee will that give me any sort of benefit, or is it pointless because the ShorEx coupon has discounted the whole thing?
  9. I assume this means the single use pre-packaged bottles that you can buy, and that Camelbak or Nalgene plastic botltes are okay, or are they also not allowed?
  10. Actually someone I know on Facebook posted about taking a cruise and she has a TA friend, and I'm like well who is it? Should I have this person quote it? Had her quote and she was able to offer me $100 additional OBC plus crew appreciation....so I'll just cancel the direct booking when HAl opens in the morning. There are two booking confirmations for the same cruise attached to my Mariner ID currently. I guess it doesn't matter. 😅
  11. That makes sense. I'll need to pay attention to the early booking deals next time around and see how much better they can be.
  12. Why does it matter if gratuities are specifically included vs them just offering OBC ? Can't the OBC be used towards the gratuities?
  13. Thank for the info! I definitely won't be pre-buying stuff. I probably should have with inquired with CC on who the generous and/or good TA's are for HAL. I ended up booking directly because the HAL gift cards at AARP are 10% off, and the TA OBC that I was seeing from TA's on CruseCompete was no better or worse than the savings from just buying gift cards, which also is less of an outflow upfront. Of course the gift card promotion might change by the time the bulk of my cruise payment is due in September, and maybe you can still pay with gift cards even when you use TAs. I can't imagine the cruise line would be too thrilled if i cancel my booking and then re-book a similar cabin or even a different category of cabin with a TA, if that's even allowed.
  14. Here's an HAL question for the frequent cruisers: Is OBC always "use or lose" or is it any of it refundable? I'll be getting $300 OBC on the HIA promo, I believe $100 AARP credit and $100 shareholder credit. What happens if I pre-book stuff such as massage on my credit card (or with HAL gift card if that's an option since the gift cards are 10% off), does spending actual money pre-cruise change the refundability of an OBC? I know that I'll want to book things such as a massage, but I don't want to book it ahead of time if it will cost me actual money vs. just using up OBC, but also sometimes the massages are discounted when pre-booked or more availability in the time slots. When I took a cruise on Royal Caribbean, somehow I ended up with a small refund on my credit card after the end of the cruise which I definitely wasn't expecting.
  15. I'm sorry you had a bad experience. 😞 That is something I noticed, the Zaandam cabins do seem quite large with many rooms including a sofa in addition to the bed!. I booked a partial sea view, and based on reviews, the "obstruction" is not much, and it is basically the same cost as an inside cabin. They don't build them like that anymore. 🙂
  16. Looks like somebody else got tagged, but I'm glad I saw this! Thanks for your feedback! So My first HAL cruise was a Panama Canal cruise way back in 1994 on the Maasdam. I was 9 years old. There was exactly one other child on the entire cruise in addition to me and my sister. That's kind of crazy to think about. I definitely do tend to like music when it comes to the entertainment. When I was on Carnival Panorama last year - which for me, seemed like a really large ship compared to what I remember from my cruising past- ...and looking up the stats, that ship has capacity for over 4000 passengers, so the Koningsdam is comparatively much smaller than that. Even with 4000 passengers, we never had a problem finding a seat in the food venues, there were a couple times we couldn't find a seat in a small lounge, but even that wasn't typically an issue. They did have live music going on frequently throughout the day and night, which was fun. I do enjoy the Thermal beds, and I had read in comments here that the thermal suite on Zaandam is not a good buy.
  17. Hi all, It looks like I have the option for a similar itinerary (11 day Mexican Riviera and Sea of Cortez) that is a few days apart between the Zaandam and the Koningsdam in December. I haven't been on HAL in almost 20 years, and I'm definitely not the target demographic as I am in my late 30s. How would I decide which one is a better option? I'm assuming the smaller older ship means that getting on and off the ship at the ports are going to be easier and that there might be less crowds in the public areas in general, but that might not be true if the bigger ship has more public spaces, bigger buffet, and more staff. The Zaandam is a little bit cheaper, but the Koningsdam appears to have way more food and entertainment options. The Zaandam is maybe similar to some of the HAL ships that I was on decades ago with my parents - so maybe it would be more fun to get to explore the newer class of ships, but I don't know?
  18. Glitch. It wasn't working for me earlier but then did work later in the day.
  19. Oh ok, they listed those out separately in addition to that line item, so I wasn't sure.
  20. It sure does.. It also includes a "11-Day Dining Hia Promo", though I have no idea what that is.
  21. Heck, I just booked one solo and even to me this seemed like a good deal, but if I was bringing someone, it would be even more of a no brainer. The main reason I chose this is because the deposit is significantly lower with more time for me to decide if I will change my mind, but this is the math: HIA Fare for 11 day Mexico on Zaandam, H category cabin. $2124 Fare without the HIA: $1321. Net difference in fare: $803. HIA Includes: $300 OBC $200 Shore excursion credit 1 dinner at Pinnacle 1 dinner at Canaletto Wifi. Now, the No HIA option did include a $100 OBC, so the credits + wifi unfortunately don't break even completely on their own, but it's like a $100 difference...but shoot, if they have trouble selling the cabins late summer / early fall, right before the rest of the fare becomes due, and prices do drop considerably, and it doesn't seem like as good a deal, I can just cancel the HIA and book the regular option or whatever different promo they have at the time. Would I choose to pay for all of this stuff if it wasn't included? Absolutely not, but I guess that is good marketing, I guess I'm okay with it because I know I will have a better experience knowing that I have all this money to spend vs just being my natural frugal self.
  22. Do you get the full benefit of that regardless of if you drink 1 or 15 drinks per day? 😄
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